What is that extra spice that makes any bland dish amazing? Jimmy Fallon, of course! Plop him right down in the middle of an episode of Top Chef and the flavor profile just improves. But beware in case you are attacked by his nemesis: the Salt Monster.
Yes, late night host Jimmy Fallon was the guest judge and raison d'etre for last night's episode and he has an unhealthy fascination with a few things: mayonnaise, baseball metaphors, gay sex double entendres, and the evil indestructible Salt Monster. But before we get there, we need to start at the beginning.
The chefs all arrive for their Quickfire and Burt Reynolds was laying in the middle of the floor on a bearskin rug. He was playing with the gold chain caught in the pelt of his chest hair and he said, "Hey, everyone, want fondue?" Yes, they stepped into a wormhole and ended up back in the '70s.
Padma was there too and she was wearing a macrame dress and her hair was long and straight. "Fuck you, assholes. Everyone, put your keys in this bowl," she said, but Burt interrupted her. "No, Padma. That's the other party. Later. These are the caterers."
"Oh, that's right. Fuck you, assholes, you're going to make our fondue. And I don't want no boring ass stupid cheese or chocolate fondue either. You better make something new and original. Our guest judge is Burt Reynolds."
"No way, sugar. I can't get any burning hot fondue on my naked man parts. Get someone else to do it."
"Fine, since no one else is here, then all of you assholes are the judges. And don't you dare be nice to anyone or Burt and I will pelt you with our pet rocks and scream Captain and Tenille songs at you until you die."
Everyone got to making their dishes and scampering around the kitchen. If it was a song it would have sounded like, "Fondue, run, run, run; fondue, run, run." They all make their fondue and they're all kind of stupid. Richard's fondue didn't come from the past. No, it came from the future. It was the dessert they ate in Disney's entirely factual futurist drama Black Hole. It was some sort of steaming cauldron of death that you stuck your banana into and it froze it solid. I'm sorry, but I'm not sticking my banana into anything steaming, especially if it's going to come out frozen.
Everyone else made boring old fondue and then they scored each other's dishes. Dale won for his Pho-inspired fondue. He was calling it Pho-ndue, but I think Phaux would have been a better name. Suddenly the sky went purple and everyone saw a blinding light and they were shuttled back to the present. Burt Reynolds was gone, but at least he was somewhere back in 1976 with a bowl full of keys and as much fondue as he could eat. They are then taken to 30 Rockefeller Plaza the home of a very famous sitcom about Elizabeth Lemon, the world's first female time traveler. They think she is going to debrief them on their trip back in time, but they somehow end up on a different set.
They're all very excited to meet Ms. Lemon, but as they walk through the doors they see late-late night host Jimmy Fallon standing there with his grin that looks like a giant pair of wax lips and his arms open wide. "Welcome contestants of Top Chef!" he screams. They all stop dead in their tracks and throw their hands up in the air. "Aw, man!" Richard Blais yells. "Fallon? Really!" Everyone is a bit disappointed. "Come on, guys. This is gonna be fun! Really, it is. We're gonna play a game!" Fallon shouts.
The game they have to play "Cell Phone Shootout" or some shit. It's probably some regular feature of the show. I don't know, the only things I watch on late-late night television are reality shows about brothels or Cinemax movies about chaste Victorian heroine Emmanuelle. They have to take a picture on a video screen with their cell phone and whatever they shoot, they have to cook that dish for Jimmy Fallon for his birthday lunch. Everyone is sort of not into it, because they're bored by Jimmy Fallon. Fabio takes a picture and says, "Jimmy, look, it's gnocchi! I get to make gnocchi for your-a birthday! It's my specialty." Jimmy says, "Um, no, Fabio. That's a burger." "What's a booger? Like the thing you pick out of your nose? You eat your boogers, a-Jimmy? What's-a wrong with you? Why don't I just make you a good gnocchi?"
Carla, the Owl Princess of Yosemite, is very excited to meet Mr. Fallon. For her people, he is revered. Whenever her people ask, "Who? Who?" from the tops of trees, the correct answer is Jimmy Fallon. She shoots a pictures of a chicken pot pie and is very excited to make this dish for Jimmy. The clan of the owl has been at war with the tribe of the chickens for decades. Princess Carla celebrates the opportunity to vanquish one of them in a dish. When she discovers this, she does the traditional Owl Clan of Yosemite celebratory dance, where she picks her feet up one after the other and flaps her wings repeated about her midsection. She bleats out loud and strange sounds, a type of sonar that has a tendency to cause deafness in regular human beings. We captured this rare celebration in the video above. Enjoy it for posterity.
They go shopping and Dale buys up all the Pretzel rolls in the entire Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery. Now, I go to that Whole Foods at least three times a week (usually with Richard Lawson) and always get a pretzel sandwich (Richard either gets salad or mac and cheese with mashed potatoes, which he swears is actually delicious, but I don't believe him). But this summer there was a surprising lack of pretzel sandwiches for about three weeks. Thanks a fucking lot, Dale.
Cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, boring, and they're serving Jimmy Fallon and his entire family. Fabio comes out and starts flinging his boogers at everyone, because he thinks that's what he was supposed to make. Gross.
Then it's Angelo's turn and before he takes his pulled pork sandwich out to table and he tells the waitress, "Be gentle." That's not the first time pervy Angelo said that to a woman. He gets to the table and says, "Hello everyone, today I made you..."
"What the fuck are you wearing?" Padma pipes up?
"Well, my chef's coat and a polo shirt and..."
"No, the pants? What are those pants?"
"They're, uh, they're nothing. They're just tight blue..."
"Those are my fucking pants!"
"No, they're not, I swear..."
"You are wearing my fucking blue pants you fucking pervert. That's disgusting. How did you even get them? Did you sneak into my house when I wasn't there and steal my pants? Did you bribe one of the PAs to deliver them to you? God, you're disgusting."
"I'm sorry..I didn't mean...I..."
"You fucking disgust me. I heard you were walking around the house with your shirt off trying to squeeze yourself into my pants, but I didn't believe it. Well, let me tell you something, mister, you may have my pants, but I have a motherfucking Emmy. Do you have that? No! You can't even keep one lousy sandwich shop open on Ninth Avenue. Why didn't you take your shirt off in Hell's Kitchen? You might have gotten some more customers that way. But no, you're standing here with your popped collar and my pants trying to pretend like your a real man, but you're not. You're nothing more than a boy—a gross, disgusting boy!"
At this point Angelo was curled up in a fetal position in the corner rocking back and forth saying, "Mommy don't. Mommy don't," over and over again. It's really creepy.
"So, uh, pulled pork!" Jimmy says trying to lighten the mood. "I bet you'd like to pull Angelo's pork wouldn't you? Oh, and a sausage. Who doesn't want some sausage in their mouth, right? Know what I'm saying?" Oh, that Jimmy always trying to be the comedian, but he had a pretty rough childhood too. Once, as a kid, he got his head stuck in the banister and they had to use mayonnaise to get it unstuck. Now, whenever he sees mayonnaise he is reminded of the trauma and freaks out. Also, his Uncle Barry used to dress up in this all-white crystal costume and chase him around the house and tickle him and tickle him (strictly outside the bathing suit area, it was very innocent) until he laughed and laughed and couldn't breathe anymore. "I'm the Salt Monster, Jimmy! I'm going to get you and I'm going to tickle you!" Uncle Barry would roar and Jimmy would flee, all the adults thinking his terror was cute and playful, but it wasn't. It scared him. It scared him for life, and whenever he ate salt, he would have post-traumatic stress flashbacks to the terror and couldn't finish his food.
When Dale came out with my beloved pretzel bread Jimmy tasted salt and an episode began. He started to scream, "The Salt Monster. No, it's destroying me. The Salt Monster is raping my mouth. Take it away. The Salt Monster, make the Salt Monster stop!"
After calming down Jimmy down, they all went to judges table. They called in the winners for the night, Angelo, Carla, and a fluttering curtain named Antonia, that is really a ghost. Though Angelo's eyes were still red from crying earlier and he kept his head bowed down in case he look Padma in the eye and upset "mommy," they praised his pulled pork sandwich. They also loved Princess Carla's chicken pot pie, because it had crust on the bottom, an addition to the recipe brought back to the Owl People by Quetzalcoatl the Conqueror of Purdue from the Great Chicken Decimation of 1874.
They loved Antonia's beef tongue recipe, but they were curious how a disembodied spirit made such a wonderful dish. She explained, through a medium, that the fellow contestants had to sing an incantation to keep her solid while she cooked, and while they performed their black magic, she was able to perform in the kitchen. The spell sounded something like this.
Carla, however was the winner. When it was announced that she had taken the competition, she did the fiercest celebratory dance she could muster—her throat bleating, her wings beating, her legs leaping. She circled and spun, craning her neck, spinning her head all the way around, and pecking at the air. Overhead, countless Owls from the Clan of Yosemite gathered and they circled overhead in formation, occasionally swooping down to slap wings with Carla, their royal daughter and great champion.
Then it's time for the losers:
Tiffany, Dale, and Fabio. They didn't like Tiffany's "chicken and dumps" because she made it southwestern style and that just didn't fly (much like a chicken!). When it was time to talk about Dale, Jimmy Fallon started screaming, "Salt Monster. He brought the Salt Monster. Make him stop. I'm afraid..."
"Shut the fuck up, Jimmy!" Padma shouted. That ended that.
But it was Fabio who they saved their real scorn for. Apparently when he flung his boogers on their plates they wanted them nice and rich and juicy, full of mucus and phlegm. Instead, he served them up green dried boogers that just weren't to their taste. They didn't want boogers that you find scraped under a first-grader's desk. No, they wanted them right from the nose. More of a snot rocket than an actual booger. Because of that, Fabio went home.
Everyone was sad to see Fabio go. He was the maestro, conducting great songs and entertaining everyone with stories and his pet turtle and greasy hair. Oh, everyone a-loves the-a Fabio! He went with his spirits high, because he didn't want to bring anyone else down. Fabio is nothing if not a showman and he didn't want his final performance to be a downer. So he packed his things up and and walked out that door, but as soon as he exited a sadness hit him. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to keep performing, to keep making his friends laugh and bringing smiles to the faces of millions. He grabbed at the door handle and yanked, but it didn't budge. It just stopped with a loud thud. It was locked, and Fabio couldn't get back in. "I have no key," he grumbled, wandering off into the night. "I have no key."